Chamber is important cheerleader for community
Published 12:40 am Monday, March 27, 2006
The Leader Publications family applauds the Niles Four Flags Chamber of Commerce's choice of Woman of the Year, presented at Tuesday evening's annual dinner.
Choosing Jan Griffey, the president and publisher of our company, shows that the community leaders value their daily newspaper. They recognize the importance of an independent new source giving a forum to those who wish to discuss tough issues.
The many chamber events and celebrations of new businesses in the community have been given front page recognition which have helped them grow.
Being a strong leader, who is not afraid to take a stand, Griffey has also been fair and presented all sides of an issue.
Coming to Niles from the south, she has brought her southern charm and journalism experience and made Niles her home.
Tom Majerek, who received the Man of the Year award, left his hometown of Niles, but returned and Niles has benefited ever since. From bringing back the annual raft race and offering musical concerts throughout the year, Majerek has added both fun and class to the community. Nearly every organization benefits from his direction and enthusiasm.
His reach has extended into Cassopolis, where he has helped set up a new Optimists Club.
Gloria Cooper is another example of a Niles' treasure. She received a lifetime achievement award from the chamber.
Her support of her community has continued long beyond the years she raised her family here.
It is fitting that the chamber has honored these individuals who have worked so hard to make Niles a wonderful place to live.
Chickie Landgraf of Niles was also recognized as Citizen Volunteer of the Year. Through her efforts the YMCA continues to grow.
The Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes new businesses and praises those which have added to the community for many years with their services and products and jobs for residents.
The small business of the year has moved a few times around the Niles area due to increased growth. Rich's Pizzera is now on South 11th Street in Niles Township.
Along with Rich's, Simplicity Pattern was also recognized by the Niles chamber.
The largest pattern company in the world, with 200 employees, they are celebrating their 75th anniversary. The patterns are distributed to 60 countries.
Earlier this month, I attended the Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.
There Nathan Bair was honored for his work and time establishing a web site to help extend the good news of Edwardsburg beyond its borders on the Internet.
Seeing how these unpaid volunteers are working toward helping their communities is an inspiration to all.
Everyone is busy, but some individuls take time out of their day, away from their family and own interests, to work for the good of their community and for their neighbors.
May their efforts be an inspiration to others to get involved and join their own community chambers.
Let's work together, improve our schools and encourage businesses to come to our towns here in Michigan.
I just read in my Newsweek magazine this week how people are leaving the suburbs for more rural areas.
We don't have to search for a better place to live. We are already here.